This song has been playing in the back of my mind ever since I heard it during a TV show the other night. Don’t ask me to remember what show, because I can’t. All I know is that hearing it over and over again in my head has brought up all kinds of “uncomfortable” thoughts…

Whether it’s the deep-down cynicism I’ve developed over my life at the whole “I am my brother’s keeper” thing, or having learned, time after time, that offers of help can’t necessarily be taken at face value, I have, out of a need for self-preservation if nothing else, become very suspicious of the apparently selfless offers by others to “carry my burden.” The thing is that, as easy as it would be for me to dismiss my feelings as paranoia caused by a life seen through the dark lenses of depression, I know that I’m not alone in having them. But what I don’t know is if I’m the only one who feels guilty for having them. All I’m sure of is that I miss the innocence and optimism of my youth…

But I must confess that I felt the seeds of my cynicism flowering inside me even then. For, knowing how hard it was for me to be the center of attention at that age, I couldn’t help but fixate on the juvenile thoughts I imagined others having while observing Joe’s “spasmodic” on-stage motions. Oddly enough, as proof of how little I can trust even my own assumptions, I just found out (while putting this post together) that Joe’s “spasms” weren’t caused by some serious and debilitating physical ailment as I’d thought but were rather just a reflection of how much he threw himself into his performance. Nevertheless, the terrified little boy in me still wonders at the courage it must have taken to get up there in front of all those people knowing what they must be thinking. But I also can’t help wondering if everyone else already knew then what I’d only figure out some 49 years later, and that maybe I was the one who’s thinking was all F’d up all these years.

I wonder. Could it be that living with such doubt in our minds is the very reason why we humans have always craved the comfort and support, imagined or not, of life in a community? In the end, I don’t know. I also don’t know if my paranoia, by isolating me from the “evil” influence of others, has actually helped me through the years, or if maybe, just maybe, a few more “Gibbs slaps” from others might well have done me some good…

Come tomorrow you’ll be right as rain
It’ll quench your fire
Wash away your stains

Come to me my brother and I will sit with you awhile
Pretty soon I’ll see you smile
And you know you will
No matter how much you are hurting right now
You know that everything will change in time

Oh I just might see it in another light
Got no dog here in the fight
I could carry your burden
O brother mine

Foy Vance Lyrics – “Burden”

I want ice water.

More from the Just Vibes volume

4 thoughts on “Bookends?

  1. Ah, the innocence and optimism of youth. I had that too, along with a huge amount of naivete conferred by very protective parents. As I got older the doubts grew: Were people deliberately taking advantage of me or was I just making bad decisions? Probably both. But I’ll never really know. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten very wary about trusting people in a position to rip me off (sales people, repairmen, etc.). But these days, with what’s going on in Washington, it’s a wonder anyone trusts anyone anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Rosie. I’d actually been working on another one earlier today, but I got distracted watching sports and, of course, falling asleep. Funny how that works. All that excitement and adrenaline and snacking does it to me every time!


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